Garrett Takes the Lead for DePaul at BIG EAST SAAC Meeting
June 19, 2014
CHICAGO – Already on a fast track for a prime leadership role within the DePaul men’s basketball program and the athletics department overall, Billy Garrett Jr. has been selected for a leadership position pertaining to the BIG EAST Conference.
Garrett, the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year last season, will represent DePaul University at the BIG EAST Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) meeting June 22-23 in Providence, R.I.
Garrett will be the only basketball player of the nine student-athletes on the committee that also includes Providence Athletics Director Bob Driscoll and Seton Hall Associate Athletics Director Kim Keenan-Kirkpatrick.
BIG EAST Commissioner Val Ackerman, Associate Commissioner Jennifer Condaras, Chief Marketing Officer Ann Crandall, Senior Associate Commissioner Joe D’Antonio and Director of Championships Tania Kennedy will also be attending the meeting.
The SAAC directive is to enhance the total student-athlete experience by promoting opportunity, protecting the well-being of student-athletes and promoting a positive student-athlete image. The SAAC focuses on increased communication and networking to better represent the views of all student-athletes.
“It’s a pretty special event, and I found out in early June that I was selected for it,” Garrett said. “Going to Providence and representing DePaul is a big honor. I’m a bit nervous right now because I don’t know what to expect.
“Nothing like this has ever happened to me at this level. I will do my best to set a good example and represent the university in the right way. It’s quite an honor to be looked upon as a student leader at such a young age.”
DePaul Associate Athletic Director Kathryn Statz realizes Garrett is an ideal choice to represent Blue Demon student-athletes.
“I was impressed by his willingness to participate and how excited he was to attend the SAAC meeting,” Statz said. “This experience will make him even more effective on Captains’ Council next season after being around student-athlete leaders from the other BIG EAST schools.
“He is a young team captain with natural leadership qualities. It’s great for us to send over an articulate student-athlete from such a high-profile sport, and Billy was the best freshman in the BIG EAST last season.
“When it comes to something like this, he gets it. He is a breath of fresh air, and his leadership is really going to help with our student governance.”
Garrett is familiar with setting the pace.
“I’ve been a team captain at Morgan Park and a captain on my AAU team,” Garrett said. “But I’ve never traveled out of state to represent something as big as DePaul University.
“There is a tremendous responsibility. The student-athletes at DePaul are second to none in work ethic and doing things the right way.
“It’s a big responsibility to represent all of them in the right way. I will take their ideas to Providence and bring back some valuable information which I can share with them.”